The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5177.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 2:45 PM

Abstract #55728

Explicating the interfaces between primary care medicine and dentistry for at-risk young children

David Krol, MD FAAP, Dept of Pediatrics;Div. of Community Health, SDOS;Div. of Health Policy & Mgmt., SPH, Columbia University/Children's Dental Health Project, 45 Overlook Terrace, Apt 6D, New York, NY 10033, 212-304-5836,

The Surgeon General’s recent report, “Oral Health in America” paints a grim picture of “a silent epidemic” of oral diseases in the US, and highlights the persistence of tooth decay as the single most common disease of childhood. One of the greatest challenges we face in attempting to improve oral health and decrease health disparities among MCH populations is better coordination of medical and dental primary care systems. However, integrating their separate organizational, financing, and delivery systems in ways that meet the needs of children and their families and respect provider competencies is challenging because of a number of unresolved “interface” issues. The Children’s Dental Health Project has explored the range of these complex and sometimes controversial issues. The goal of the MCHB-funded Interfaces project is to objectively and dispassionately describe issues underlying coordination between medical and dental primary care for children and to consider, in detail, issues requiring their resolution and development so that optimal health care can be provided to all children. Interfaces has produced a white-paper and series of supporting documents exploring each of six issues and their policy implications and characterizing the range of opinions and thinking about each. Issues are: (1) scientific basis for early oral health interventions; (2) provider education and training; (3) legal opportunities and constraints; (4) questions about the financing and coordinating of primary care services; (5) the role of professional organizations as policy makers and drivers for coordination; and (6) issues related to treating children with special health care needs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Care Access, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Integration of Oral Health with General Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA